Cabinet okays Bt148m to prevent outbreak of African swine flu
THE CABINET on Tuesday approved a Bt148.54-million budget for implementing measures to prevent the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), the agriculture minister said.
Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach said the Cabinet agreed to add this issue to the national agenda and approved the budget of carrying out necessary measures. The budget will be disbursed over three fiscal years – Bt53.6 million in 2019 fiscal year, Bt52.41 million in 2020 and Bt42.51 million in 2021.
The budget will be used to implement measures for monitoring the disease and for building furnaces to destroy contaminated pig carcasses.
Grisada explained that the ASF virus can survive if the infected animals are buried, so it would be safer to destroy the carcasses in special furnaces. He added that the Agriculture Ministry decided to propose these measures after the outbreak spread to 18 countries since 2018, including 10 countries in Europe, four in Africa and four in Asia.
He said there have been 113 occurrences of the disease in 28 provinces in China, 10 in Mongolia, 221 occurrences in 17 provinces in Vietnam and one in Cambodia.
Since the virus has been detected in neighbouring countries, the Agriculture Ministry fears the virus will spread into Thailand, which is why it is seeking funds to implement preventive measures, Grisada said.
According to the ministry, Thailand has 210,978 pig farmers.